Hospitality to Strangers
In ancient times, there were no hotels. Travelers sometimes depended on local people to take care of them, at times waiting outside a city gate for residents to invite them in and provide them lodging.
Jewish hospitality could go even further. Their laws required them to love foreigners, partially because they themselves were foreigners in Egypt (Deuteronomy 10:17-19).
Similarly, Christians should be hospitable to strangers, and should proactively protect the marginalized (Hebrews 13:2-3).
Where do we get the impetus to help them? We are more inclined to be good to our neighbors because they could help us later. But most likely, we would never see a stranger again.
First, know that things on earth are transient. They do not belong to us. They are not here just for us. At best, we could only keep them for a very short time. Also, remember that what we have are gifts from God. So don’t focus on using them solely for our own benefits, forgetting the needs of others. Use them to benefit the community, to benefit others as well. For example, build stable families to benefit our children.
Second, know that God is always with us. Though we have turned away from God so as to run our own lives, God has promised us unconditionally that He would not leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). This was shown by Christ sacrificing Himself for us. To make us children of God, Christ suffered terribly, forsaken by both humans and God the Father (Hebrews 13:12, Mark 15:34).
Third, know that Christ has prepared our real home with God the Father (John 14:2). It is a glorious place in the house of God (Revelation 21 and 22). Let’s look forward to it (Hebrews 13:14).
In conclusion, be aware that things on earth are transient. Nothing on earth could endure the test of time. But God loves us and is always with us. He has a wonderful place prepared for us in heaven, so look forward to our permanent home that is to come. For our short time on Earth, let us be good to strangers as God has been to us. It is possible that you might be entertaining an angel (Hebrews 13:2).
Summarized from a Tim Keller sermon.
犹太人的款待可以更进一步。他们的律法要求他们爱寄居的外来人, 部分原因是犹太人本身也曾经是埃及的寄居客(申命记10：17-19) 。
我们从哪里得到这种行为的驱动力呢? 我们更可能对邻居好，因为他们以后可以帮助我们。 但我们如果帮助陌生人，很有可能再也见不到他们，得不到任何回报。
首先，我们要知道世上的东西都是短暂的。它们既不属于我们，也不只是为了我们而存在。我们最多只能保留它们很短的时间。并且记住我们拥有的都是上帝的恩赐。因此，不要只关注它们是否对自己有用， 而忘记别人的需求。也应该使用自己所有的来使我们生活的社区受益, 使我们周边的其他人受益。比方说，可以帮助建造稳定的家庭使孩子们受益。
其次，要知道上帝永远与我们同在。虽然我们离开上帝要过自我操控的生活，但上帝无条件地应许我们，祂不会撇下或丢弃我们 (希伯来书13：5)。基督为我们舍命就是明证。为使我们成为父神的孩子, 祂遭受了极大的痛苦, 被人类和父神离弃 （希伯来书13:12, 马可福音15:34）。
此外，要知道基督还与父神一起为我们预备了真正的家 (约翰福音14：2)。这是上帝的家, 一个荣耀的地方 (启示录21和22) 。让我们期待它吧 (希伯来书13:14) 。
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